Because of People.
Well turns out it’s taken me so long to complete this thank you letter, I lost the first bit of it I wrote months ago. Hopefully it still reads just as sweet and genuine.
This letter is for not just ABQ but particularly the people who have made it what it is to and for me. This last March, a birthday cometh but I was no in no place, no state, to celebrate, no mood to acknowledge an exciting time to be present (alive). I was approaching a time in my life I had always been eager to get to, always knew I’d be so happy to be. A threshold if you will that I felt crossing was significant. Many have seen the beloved film “13 going on 30” …wishing and wanting some idealized version of adulthood. And that was me, only it wasn’t so idealized because I am living the life I wanted t be at this age. I am well, blessed with an abundance of love, and pursuing a career that means the world to me. I also genuinely am living my most transparent and authentic life to date. That’s what 30 was also supposed to be to me.
When March arrived, I found myself so far from this bliss I always anticipated. I was beaten up from a month of hard, long, isolated shifts, without family or opportunity to commune with the loved ones I have here during holidays, during winter. I exited December stressed, exhausted, and fragile. January followed with another month of long hours, poor sleep, and an inability to recuperate. I believed myself to be withering, and yet judged myself more harshly for it. I was tired of being tired, tired of being sad, tired of being isolated, but also too tired to change it. Definitely too tired to fake as if I was anything but this. With February, came much needed time off, but no real restoration. I slept of course, which ought to have been restorative but felt detrimental. It never felt like rest but more of an insidious break from the using energy to perpetuate fatigue, depression, and frustration.
I was more alert for March but experienced no difference in my lack of mental, social, emotional fortitude. I was seeing friends, and unlike my younger, former self made a solid effort to be honest about how I was/had been feeling. I didn’t want to fake joy or excitement. I wanted to allow myself to lean on those I call friend, those who claim to love and support me. So I did. I told them I was sad and tired…sad and tired about being sad and tired. I told them I wanted to be fun, have fun, but couldn’t seem to get it up for myself.
March went by quickly, but in one month’s time. I turned 30. I sang shallow at Press club and passed out in my dress after. I saw my parents. I saw my brothers. I spent what is now the second night at Red Door that has impacted beyond words. In this month, I was loved all the way through my fog. I was celebrated through my own doubts and self pity. I was healed and handed my joy back by the community I hold so dear. I do not exaggerate the weight of the experiences I have had because of people here in ABQ, and notably at red door. It has become a space that has continued to grant me the honor of participating in and witnessing humanity in abundance, while admiring a craft that is designed to induce joy and provoke thought. A craft that is very much woven into my personal recipe for wellness. Without laughter, I would be a fraction of who I am. Without those who choose to pursue and practice the art of making us laugh, my vision would grow dim.
Without community, life will grow dim. I believe 30 was ultimately still a beautiful and significant threshold I have crossed, one where the focus was on who really mattered. Everyone else in the room ( metaphorical room).
For all our faults, [humans]… It is because of people, we learn. It is because of people, we love. It is because of people we heal. It is because of people, we grow. It is because of people, I thrive.
To my people,